Know Before You Go:
It is important to take your time on the Half Dome Cables and use good judgment. A slip or fall from the cables may result in serious injury or death. Rescue personnel may be hours away and/or unable to respond due to weather or other incidents occurring simultaneously.
Tips while using the cables:
- Take your time and be patient with slower hikers.
- Allow faster hikers to pass you (when possible).
- Remain on the inside of the cables.
- Many people find gloves helpful.
Another easy way to make your hike enjoyable is to wear well broken-in boots with good ankle support and traction. Some of the most common injuries Half Dome hikers suffer are blisters and ankle injuries. Proper footwear is the best way to prevent these problems.
Always keep your food within arm's reach or on your back. Never leave food unattended. Do not leave packs at the base of the cables even if they do not contain food as marmots and squirrels will chew through straps for the salt content.
The summit of Half Dome is a dangerous place during a lightning storm. Check the weather forecast before your hike and try to reach the summit early in the day to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. If a storm appears nearby, do not continue to the summit and, if in the summit area, descend immediately while still using caution and patience while on the cables and steps.
The summit is typically 15*F (8*C) to 20*F (11*C) cooler than Yosemite Valley and windy conditions are common. Be prepared for cool temperatures and rain showers.
A few visitors each summer have problems with altitude sickness. Know how to recognize the early signs of altitude sickness.
For a short video on Half Dome Click Here
Flush toilets are available at the Vernal Fall Footbridge below Vernal Fall. Composting toilets are available near Emerald Pool above Vernal Fall, near the top of Nevada Fall, and in Little Yosemite Valley. The last potable water is at the Vernal Fall restroom below the waterfall. Springs, streams and the Merced River provide water above this point, but should be properly treated before drinking to remove pathogens.